4 Pillars of Self-Reliance

At the National Self-Reliance Project we see self-reliance as a journey. One that has many faces and must have a foundation. The 4-pillars supports your preparedness efforts.

Examine each and create a preparedness mantra that includes all the pillars of Self-Reliance and feel secure.



“If you’re preparing for an emergency — and you should — be realistic about your time, energy and budget. Emergencies are rare but they do happen. It’s not about fear, but about having your things in order. Like renters’ or homeowners’ insurance. You probably won’t ever use it, but if you need it you’ll sure be glad you have it.

Being trapped at home with no food because you’re snowed in or a mudslide took out the road would not be a fun situation to say the least. Not having alternative ways to cook during a power outage can also be a major bummer. If you don’t have a grill or barbecue, get a camp stove. No alternative sources of heat during a blizzard can quickly turn into an emergency if the power goes out. You’ll never have enough time, money or energy to prepare once an emergency is imminent. Do it now and get it over with.”

Kenny Larson, Communications and Community Engagement Manager, City of Salem, Oregon

Outdoor Survival

Outdoor Survival

“We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.”

Isabel Allende

“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

Hunter S. Thompson

“A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance.”

Bear Grylls




“He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Sustainable development is a dynamic process which enables people to realize their potential and improve their quality of life in ways which simultaneously protect and enhance the earth’s life support systems.”

Forum for the Future

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

Robert Swan, Author



“More than ever, we have big houses and broken homes, high incomes and low morale, secured rights and diminished civility. We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life. We celebrate our prosperity but yearn for purpose. We cherish our freedoms but long for connection. In an age of plenty, we feel spiritual hunger.”

David Meyer

“It is time to get back-to-basics: to self-discipline and respect for the law, to consideration for others, to accepting responsibility for yourself and your family, and not shuffling it off on the state.”

Prime Minister John Major, 1993